Freezing your bum off and other weight loss strategies

I’m freezing my bum off.

You’ve heard the phrase, right?

But what exactly does it mean? Is it supposed to be a reference to frostbite, a condition in which one literally freezes off parts of one’s body?

Probably not. My bet is that it has no grounding in thought.

It’s one of those things like “knocked my socks off”, silly and meaningless.

But imagine that you could actually freeze your bum off, like you would freeze off a wart. Imagine a simple outpatient procedure in which a doctor delicately freeze’s ones bum and then shaves it off like one whittles a piece of wood.

I’m sure that would be a popular procedure.

Alternately, imagine you could kiss a belly and make it go away–like you kiss a boo-boo to make it go away.

Now that would be a popular procedure.

Instead, we’re left with a much less glamorous and much more labor-intense process: learning to alter our behavior.

My marriage to Daniel has altered his behavior in a way that has not been friendly to his waistline. I’ve disrupted his schedule such that his once-regular runs have become a thing of the past and his once uber-low-calorie lunches (of lettuce salad) have turned to scrumptious (not-quite-so-low-calorie) leftovers.

So, in an effort to be a good wife this year and to support Daniel’s weight control efforts, I’ve decided to change MY behavior.

Among my Tier 1 objectives? Be a good wife.

Goals to earn points include running with Daniel (more points for longer spurts of running) and preparing more vegetables.

I can’t freeze Daniel’s bum off. Nor can I kiss his belly and make it go away. But I can help to make our home an environment that is more friendly to his goals.

For now, that’s preparing two vegetables instead of one with each meal–which means the overall calories of a plate full of food goes down without depriving him of food (a la Volumetrics and MyPlate.)

It’s dishing up our plates in the kitchen and putting away the next day’s lunches simultaneously–meaning we don’t keep eating just because the food is there on the table.

It’s using those divided tupperware for Daniel’s lunches, so he has a vegetable along with the main dish.

It’s keeping the fruit bowl stocked with fruit that Daniel can take to work for snacks instead of relying on the vending machine for when he can’t concentrate due to low blood sugars.

And it’s getting myself fit so I can run with him. Sigh.

Freezing his bum off would be easier than THAT.

Just to clarify: I have NOT made a goal to change my husband this year. Rather, I value him and his goal of a healthy weight and want to support him in this. These changes are NOT things that I am imposing upon him, but things we have discussed and have determined to be ways that I can help him reach his goals.

2014 Goal Game

Being goal oriented is one of my greatest strengths. It means I get a lot accomplished, I have focus, and I am less likely to waste time.

Being goal oriented is one of my greatest weaknesses. It means I can lose track of relationships, I forget to take care of my needs, and I get upset with myself for not accomplishing everything I set out to do.

The last item, in particular, frustrates my husband. When I started thinking what my goals would be for 2014, I asked him what he thought of my proposed goals. He told me he was fine with me working on any of the above, but reminded me that failing to complete the list of goals I’d suggested does NOT mean that I’m a failure. He wanted me to start out not too committed to accomplishment at all costs.

I acknowledged his concerns and mentioned how I’d already been tiering the goals in my mind – these certain ones were very important to me, the other ones not so much.

Hearing me explain this, he suggested that my goals sounded a little like a game – with different levels of achievement.

The seed that he planted took root and I began gamifying my 2014 goals.

I ended up with three tiers of broad objectives. Tier one objectives are most important to me (example: establish a church home). Tier 2 objectives are important, but less so (example: make home improvements). Tier 3 objectives are things that I think would be nice or fun but that I’m not super committed to accomplishing (example: cook recipes from the One – Pot cookbook I own).

Within each broad objective, I have a number of more qualitative goals that are then ranked according to difficulty. I have platinum goals, gold goals, silver goals, and bronze goals. Each type of goal gives a different number of points. Platinum goals are worth 4 points, Gold are worth 3, silver 2, and bronze 1 – except that those values are cubed for Tier 1 goals and squared for Tier 2.

In this way, I have a flexible list of things is like to accomplish and a way to pat myself on the back for accomplishing them – but no easy way to get upset with myself for NOT accomplishing them. It’s genius really.

I’m geared up and ready to play.